Friday, December 14, 2007

Enchilada Wisdom for All

Darlings! I look at the most salient keywords my readers log in and I realize that besides shocking nazi photos and futalongkosauri, a lot of people have questions about one of the greatest enigmas in the history of mankind. Namely, the humble but powerful Enchilada. So, always eager to provide a service, I will attempt to enlighten and entertain on, as a reader queries, the culture of enchilada.
To the reader that looked for a Venezuelan Enchilada: No such thing exists, unless you count that fiery Chavista congresswoman who tends to hit journalists with her bare hands on live TV.
The Enchilada is originally a Mexican dish made with corn tortillas, and since in Venezuela there are no tortillas, hence there are no enchiladas. Also, Venezuelans do not eat chile as a rule. So there.
To the reader that asks: why do Enchiladas taste so good? Well, why is chocolate divine? Why does ice cream make you smile? The Enchilada is a perfect example of the genius of Mexican cooking. It combines gracefully a lot of wonderful flavors and textures, and you can find it in many guises.
Why does it taste so good? Here is the answer for the reader that enquired about the science of enchiladas:
For one, the tortillas are briefly fried in oil, (or better yet, lard), so they can hold up to the sauce. If you don't fry the tortillas, they will turn to mush on contact with the sauce. Briefly fried tortilla is the secret of many a Mexican dish. Briefly fried 3 day old tortilla is the secret of Tortilla soup and of the stupendous Chilaquiles, a hangover dish that deserves a Nobel Prize.
Two, the fillings are yummy. Traditionally, Enchiladas are filled with shredded chicken, but you can have melted cheese or beef.
3. They are smothered in delicious green tomatillo sauce for Enchiladas Verdes, which is full of cilantro and onion and sometimes garlic. Or they are dunked in tomato based red sauce, made with a variety of chiles, for Enchiladas Rojas. We even have Swiss Enchiladas (green or red), for those who can't stomach picante. Aren't we the best?
Then you also have Enchiladas de Mole, or Enchiladas Potosinas. (I don't know what they are but I want to impress).
So, to sum up: Enchiladas are basically rolled, briefly fried tortillas with a filling, covered in sauce and sprinkled with queso fresco or Mexican melting cheese (no orange cheddar, please), raw onion rings and crema (not sour cream; creme fraiche).
I am humbled and honored to have the great Enchilada as my nom de plume.

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